The Department of Education announced last week another in a series of policy changes designed to hand states and school districts additional flexibility in meeting requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act. Here is a brief summary of the changes so far.
Dec. 9, 2003
Students with disabilities: New federal rules make it easier for states to test students with the most severe cognitive disabilities and include their test results in schools’ performance ratings.
Feb. 19, 2004
English-language learners: New policy says schools are not required to give children with limited proficiency in English their states’ regular reading tests if such students have been enrolled in U.S. schools for less than a year. Also, states may count students who have become proficient in English within the past two years in their calculations of “adequate yearly progress” for English-language learners.
March 15, 2004
Highly qualified teachers: New policies provide extra flexibility for teachers in rural communities and for science teachers in meeting the “highly qualified” mandate. The revisions also streamline alternative means for current teachers seeking to demonstrate subject-matter mastery in multiple subjects.